Though it’s common to talk about “the flu” with nonchalance, influenza is actually a pretty serious illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu has resulted in between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths annually since 2010. Clearly a big deal.
Because there are many different strains of the influenza virus and all are prone to mutation, experts have to create new vaccines each year to keep up. The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older gets a flu vaccine every season to protect against these mutations. Bartell Drugs pharmacists can provide vaccinations to any child 3 years and older while our 15 CareClinics can give vaccines to any children 2 years and older. Beyond that, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines with time, so maintaining optimal protection means regular immunizations.
There are certain populations that stand to benefit in a big way by following the CDC directive to get vaccinated each year.
- Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children and older adults.
- Vaccination is associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, as well as reduced hospitalization among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.
- Vaccination helps protect pregnant women and their babies during and after pregnancy. Some studies show the baby’s risk of contracting the flu was reduced by half for up to four months after birth.
Of course, getting vaccinated isn’t only about protecting yourself. It also protects people around you who might be more vulnerable to the flu. That population includes babies and young children, older people and those with certain chronic medical conditions.
If you’re ready to take action to protect yourself and your loved ones, stop by Bartell Drugs to get your flu shot. Walk-ins are welcome, and you can also schedule your shot online to avoid the wait. Bartell Drugs’ pharmacists make it their priority to ensure flu shots are fast, easy and convenient. Learn more and schedule your flu shot at bartelldrugs.com/flu.